(Last Updated on : 16/01/2009)
Perinben Naoraji was born on 12th October 1888 at Mandvi, (a port of Kutch State), where her father was the Doctor-in-charge of the State Civil Hospital. She was the granddaughter of Dadabhai Naoraji, the great political leader. After her fathers untimely death the Maharao Saheb of Kutch invited her mother as the tutor of the young prince. At the age of seven, Perinben joined the Cathedral Girl`s High School (Bombay) from where she passed her matriculation. After matriculation she joined the Elphinstone College and studied there for a year. At the age of 17, she went to Europe for further studies. Perinben Naoraji joined the Sorbonne University in Paris, studied French and passed the Teachers Examination.
From her early days Perinben dreamt the dream of the Independent India. She was not only interested for the freedom of her country but also was interested for the betterment of the entire the nation. Everybody respected her for her sincerity and fearlessness. During the first Egyptian National Congress in Brussels, both Perinben and Madame Cama(the patriot who unfurled India`s flag at an international assembly) attended the Congress as delegates on behalf of the Egyptian people. Perinben Naoraji was asked to attend political meetings held in the Polish Colony in Paris during the struggle of Poland against Russia. After some time, Perinben with her sister Goshiben returned to Bombay. There Perinben taught French for some time at her old school, the Cathedral Girls High School. Later she came in contact with Gandhiji and supported his programme of non-violence and was even prepared to go to jail over the issue of exploitation of the workers of Champaran in Bihar. Perinben was also one of the first to adopt khadi and she wore no other cloth till the last day of her life. She was one of the founder members of the Rashtriya Stree Sabha and was the first woman president of the War council during the Salt Satyagraha. Before her 2nd arrest she was the member of the three previous War Councils. Her devotion and courage gave unexpected strength to women`s movement in Bombay and created respect for it even among opponents.
During the Second Civil Disobedience Movement, Perinben Naoraji was amongst the first batch of women to be arrested under the Emergency Powers Ordinance. She was first kept at the Arthur Road jail for about a fortnight and then transferred to Bijapur jail. She was sentenced for a years imprisonment. It was due to the rigors of jail life at Bijapur that she became a victim to arthritis. After her release from Bijapur she again courted arrest and served a sentence of three months at the Arthur Road jail. Perinben was an active member of the Congress Party and also a member of the Bombay Provincial Congress Committee. Perinben Naoraji was the life and soul of the Rashtriya Stree Sabha, which was formed to carryout the dual programme of picketing of foreign cloth shops and liquor and toddy shops in Bombay.
Perinben worked as the Honorary Secretary of the Hindi Prachar Sabha, which was started for the spread of Hindi as the national language. The name was later altered to Hindustani Prachar Sabha, as Gandhiji started it for teaching and propagating the national language in two scripts-Devnagari and Arabic. Perinben worked for the cause of Hindustani as enunciated by Gandhiji. Perinben died on 17th February 1958. "